Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO) for cranial cruciate ligament disease is the most common procedure we perform.
Whilst there are a large number of different procedures available for treating cruciate disease in dogs, the literature and our experience suggests that TPLO is superior to other techniques, particularly for completeness of recovery and low complication rate. TPLO would be our first choice procedure for cruciate disease/injuries in dogs of all sizes. Although smaller dogs can do very well with simpler techniques such as lateral extracapsular suture, many of these smaller dogs also have anatomical variation/abnormalities (excessive tibial plateau angle) which make TPLO a good choice.
The principal of TPLO surgery is to give the stifle joint dynamic stability (i.e. stability that does not depend on a fixed structure such as the ligament or ligament-replacement) by altering the angle of the tibial plateau. By reducing the tibial plateau angle to near perpendicular to the tibial axis, the cranial shear force is abolished, stabilising the stifle in the stance phase of gait.
The alteration in angle is achieved by making a curved cut in the proximal tibia, rotating the fragment and fixing it back in place with a plate and screws. The plate is designed specifically for the procedure and is very well engineered. The combination of a well-apposed osteotomy and a well-designed plate mean that the rate of implant-related complications is very low.
When treating dogs with cruciate disease, the role of meniscal injuries is also very important.
You can download a client information sheet for the TPLO procedure here